The Castle of Pastime: Kratochvile
But Czech animated film is not only Trnka. Perhaps you remember Pojar's famous films A Drop Too Much or The Lion and a Song, the first winner at the festival in Annecy. There is also the Oscar winning American director Gene Deitch who came to Prague in the Fifties to marry a Czech producer and to teach Czech animators to be a little more dynamic in their animation drawing. I could mention a younger generation such as Jan Svankmajer, or even younger artists and directors, such as Jiri Barta and his amazing puppet films, or Michaela Pavlatova, an Oscar nominee for her film Words, Words, Words I also did not mention the Karel Zeman and Hermina Tyrlova films created at the former Bata/s Studio in Zlin. Have you seen his adaptation of the Jules Verne novel The Invention of Destruction or The Stolen Airship? You can see entire scenes and sets, drawings, puppets and artistic designs from all of the films I have mentioned, plus much more, in the permanent Museum of Czech Animated Film in the Kratochvile Castle.
Something For Everyone
Who ought to visit the Castle? Children. The little ones look at the lovely little original scenes inhabited by puppets. The older children can learn how to animate a puppet or a traditional film. For film historians, it is a rich source of information. But first, and foremost, this Castle, with its two floors of animation history, is interesting to people involved in animation, professionals. It is always useful to look back in order to see ahead better. For those who are blind and deaf to animation there is still the interior of a renaissance castle, with original ceiling frescos and marvelous views to enjoy. The Castle windows reveal the surrounding green meadows, ponds and oak woods. The Castle is open starting in April every Saturday and Sunday. From May until October the museum is open daily except on Mondays. A manager lives there through the winter.
The Kratochvile Castle is situated by the little town of Netolice which is known for breeding race horses. It is one hundred kilometers south of Prague. Yes, it is in the region of the capitol of Southern Bohemia Ceske Budejovice or Budweiss in German. Why do I mention it? When you are tired of all that animation art and history, of Renaissance castles, of green meadows and muddy ponds, you can taste, or better drink down, a few pints of original Budweiser straight from Budweiss.
Edgar Dutka is a scriptwriter, animation historian and professor at The Academy of Performing Arts in Prague.
Something For Everyone